iPad Air is the latest generation of Apple's full sized tablet devices. iPad Air is slimmer, lighter and more powerful then previous generation devices.
The Air weights in at 1 pound. Think about that. A 9.7in full powered computing device in your hand and it only weighs 1 pound. That's pretty amazing. The Air is slimmer then previous generations yet has the same screen size. This is because the bezel on the side of the Air has been cut nearly in half compared to the previous model. The height of the Air is slightly shorter, but not by much. Picking up the Air is completely effortless and once you do, you will not want to go back to an older version.
iPad Air is powered by Apple's A7 processor with an M7 co-processor, the same chip that powers the iPhone 5S and iPad mini. The A7 is a dual core 64 bit processor clocked at 1.4 GHz, the first of its kind, and 1 GB of RAM. Phil Schiller even said this is a desktop class processor. iPad Air is powered by a 32.4 watt lithium-polymer battery providing up to 10 hour of use. A first for the iPad line is MiMo, multi in multi out wifi. This allows iPad Air to have incredible transfer speeds on a wifi network.
iPad Air has a 5 MP iSight (rear) camera that can take decent photos. The iSight camera allows for 1080p HD video recording. The FaceTime camera is a 1.2 MP camera that allows for 720p HD video recording. The FaceTime camera received the same upgrade as the iPhone 5S but still has the 4th generation iPad iSight camera with some improvements. FaceTime calls are much better with the improved camera, especially in lower light situations. Even though the cameras are improved from previous generations they are not the best choice (unless the iPad is the only device with a camera you have with you). For photography & videography stick to using a newer iPhone. You can see in the images below how the iPad 2 & iPad Air compare.
Apple claims that iPad Air is up to twice as fast as the previous generation. I did not own the 4th generation iPad but I can tell you this thing is fast. iPad Air boots up extremely fast, about 25 seconds from the time you press the power button until you are at your lock screen. Putting that into perspective, I have a 2009 2.26GHz MacBook Pro with an SSD and 8 GB of RAM. That boots up in about 15 seconds. The touch screen is super responsive and very precise.
With iPad Air having such a powerful processor, it makes doing things faster. Youtube content will vary based on your internet connection). ifixit.com did a teardown of the iPad Air revealing that the majority of the Air is battery. The battery in this is incredible. I was able to go 4 days with moderate usage (twitter, email, web browsing, gaming) on wifi with out having to charge the device.
- Incredible battery life
- Improved speakers
- Starting storage is still at 16GB
- Not a big improvement to the camera
- No flash for the camera
- No Touch ID
I have been using the Air for about 2 weeks and I must say, I absolutely love it. I am coming from an iPad 2 and the retina display, lightness and performance completely blew me away. I am reaching for my iPad a lot more now then I was before. Usage of my iPhone has decreased, especially when it comes to certain games. Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone but the iPad Air is my favorite device. It can do just about everything the iPhone can do but with a larger display. If you never owned an iPad or you are ready to upgrade, I highly recommend getting the Air. I also recommend getting at least 32GB as the 16GB will fill up very quick. Cellular vs wifi is completely up to you. If you can afford an extra $130 then I would do it. You don't have to have the data plan active all the time, only when you need it. Color choice is also completely up to you. I like the white iPhone with iOS 7 but black for the iPad with iOS 7. The white is less distracting when watching videos on the larger screen. The iPad Air is available now starting at $499 at apple.com or other authorized resellers.